Inbox — April 16, 2014

Letters to the Editor

Digging for the Root
Thank you, April Corbin, for shining the light on the need to address systemic issues in reaction to the recent violence downtown (LEO Weekly, April 2). Racial inequity, like the overwhelmingly disproportionate suspension rate for children of color in our schools, is an important place for us to focus if we want to get at root causes.
Carla F. Wallace, Clifton

The Gem of Gin
Attn: Sara Havens:

I really enjoyed your well-written Bar Belle, “Gin dummy” (LEO Weekly, April 9). The Moran quote in the beginning is what caught my eye, and the hilarity ensued from there. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard this same story over and over again. Whenever I happen to be partaking in the aforementioned spirit, no matter the time of year, event, weather or otherwise, I invariably get the same reaction:

“What are you having?”

“Gin & tonic.”

“Ugh, I’ve had no luck with gin.” Or, “Oh, I have some really bad gin memories.” Or, “Yeah, no thanks, I’ll have a vodka soda.” Or, “Last time I had gin I got pregnant.”

I think I might be on an island here, because I have nothing but wonderful memories drinking what I refer to as the Nectar of the Gods beverage. It is one of the only spirits I can consume copious amounts of and NEVER get sick, never have a hangover and, by and large, recall the evening quite well. In fact, after two doubles, my normal starting procedure, I am brimming with confidence and bravado, strutting about the room in a peacocking fashion, rendering an otherwise shy person into a socially adept butterfly — all without ever being belligerent or obnoxious (who could claim the same on whiskey or tequila?!).

So, Sara, I would encourage you to give my dearly beloved spirit another round. SLOWLY. And gradually over the course of an evening. It is to be savored and enjoyed AT A SLOWER PACE. I am confident that with proper precautions, you, too, can learn to love gin as much as me. MAINTAAAAIN!
Cort R., Prospect

Jim Crow Remains
As Ricky L. Jones reminded us in the March 19 LEO Weekly, we still see some vestiges of the Confederacy around us today. Sometimes these remnants are artfully concealed from outsiders. Everyone’s heard about the Confederate flag auto license plates issued by eight states. But, who knew the Georgia state flag, supposedly updated for the Olympics in 1996, still incorporates an earlier and less familiar version of the Confederate battle flag?

Being a union steward, I see another vestige of the Confederacy in the so-called “Right-to-Work” laws. It’s a direct and obvious lineage. The Confederacy spawned the infamous Jim Crow laws we know so well from history — the poll taxes, literacy tests, vagrancy laws, impoverished schools and the slavery-like working conditions. There are many more. Around 1942, racial anxiety throughout the upper-crust of the old South motivated a new Jim Crow law aimed at black WWII veterans. Dubiously named “Right-to-Work,” nine Southern states enacted such laws between 1943 and 1947. The fear was that black veterans returning home would demand better jobs. So, the established authorities determined to armor themselves with new restrictions on labor organizing. They came up with a simple idea: Just take away the labor unions’ right to collect dues and starve them of funds.

The politicians reframed these laws as an economic policy for the sake of appearances. As it later turned out, the “Right-to-Work” deception also fit conveniently into the GOP’s Southern Strategy and their “Supply Side” economic theories. That’s how an old Jim Crow law continues today.
Tom Louderback, Highlands